The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has vacated an order certifying three classes in a tuna class action. The Ninth Circuit held that the district court erred in determining that the plaintiffs satisfied the predominance requirement and because the classes contained significant numbers of uninjured class members. The court ruled that a trial court should reconsider its decision and recertify the class.
In the Starkist case, plaintiffs sued for misrepresentation of the contents of canned tuna. In the lawsuit, lead plaintiff’s lawyer explained how his law firm acquired the case. Initially, he saw a news report about Starkist settlements and investigated the contents of the tuna cans. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed and the plaintiffs received settlements totaling $12 million. However, the lawsuit does raise issues about the removal of the Consumer Protection Procedures Act in D.C.
The plaintiffs also have allegations against the company Bumble Bee. The company acquired Bumble Bee in 2020 and sources its tuna from Taiwan-based FCF Co. Ltd., which is a major seafood trader with a long history of human rights abuses in its supply chains. In addition, the lawsuit alleges that Bumble Bee engaged in misleading and deceptive practices in its tuna supply chain, requiring fishing vessels to travel long distances from their homes.